Premier League • England

Arsenal struggler ‘wants to move’ but Arteta has him shackled due to January plans

Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes, Arsenal, October 2022

Arsenal right-back Cedric Soares reportedly “wants to move” but Mikel Arteta’s plans mean he may be forced into staying at the club.

Cedric has been at Arsenal since his permanent move from Southampton in the summer of 2020. Prior to that, the defender spent six months on loan at the Emirates.

He is now in his fourth season with the Gunners, and has played just 59 times.

Indeed, his role is a fringe one; he is utilised mainly when the more favoured players are out through injury. That led to the Portuguese making 21 Premier League appearances last season.

That tally – the most he has made in a season at the Emirates – was due to regular right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu being injured.

This season, with Tomiyasu and Ben White – who has been playing right-back – both fit, Cedric has hardly gotten onto the pitch.

Indeed, the 31-year-old has played just 27 minutes of league football. He has made just two appearances beyond that, a two-minute outing in the Europa League, and a start in the 3-1 league cup loss to Brighton.

While he has not been offered consistent minutes for much of his time at the club, his game time is seriously lacking this season.

Cedric ‘wants to move’

With that being said, a move away could be the best course of action. Sky Sports presenter Michael Bridge believes Cedric wants to leave, but could be forced into remaining due to Arteta’s plans.

“My information is that Arteta feels they might be a little bit light, so they might stop one of the fringe players going,” he told GIVEMESPORT.

“For example, there’s a lot of interest in Cedric and my understanding is he wants to move on, but Arsenal won’t allow that unless they bring someone else in.”

Indeed, one of Tomiyasu and White could get injured at some point in the season. Arsenal would not want that to occur and them not have cover.

As such, retaining Cedric seems the ideal move for them, despite his wishes. It makes sense as to why he wants to move – he is 31 and could be entering the last years of his career.

With that being said, he will want to be playing when that happens, not sat on the bench. However, he may be shackled by Arsenal until his contract runs out in summer 2024.

Minor Arsenal changes in January

Bridge also thinks there could be a couple of changes at the Emirates in the winter transfer window.

“I think, at Arsenal, maybe we’ll see one or two coming in and one or two going out in January. But I think it would be quality coming in and surplus going out. I don’t think Arsenal have to worry too much yet about any big names leaving,” he said.

The Gunners have been linked with a number of quality players that could come through the door in January – Mykhaylo Mudryk has been the most heavily linked player of late.

Whether he does join the Premier League leaders remains to be seen. Either way, it seems they should retain all of their key pieces, which makes a lot of sense given their position.

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